We left Bishkek and headed north, riding through the suburbs till we reached the Kazakh border. After another easy border crossing (haven’t had a bad one yet!) we were soon back on typical Kazakh roads – straight, flat and going on forever.
We could see little rolling hills of golden grass for miles, and we were back to not many villages, shops or places to get water.
But we had favourable winds and the biggest climb was only 600m so we made good time as we headed east again. We found some good camp spots, once we’d headed away from the road for a while, and enjoyed it being warm again in the evenings.
We were soon on the outskirts of Almaty, the road getting bigger and busier, but we could now see the snow topped mountains which were the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan again. Almaty was huge, we were cycling through suburbs and outskirts of the city for miles before suddenly being in a very modern, westernised city centre.
Almaty is really nice, and we have found a hostel with an oven(!) so I can do some cooking, so far we have had mac and cheese and homemade pizza. We are right opposite a huge supermarket and a short walk from the centre of town.
We have ages till our flight to Vietnam so have been being very lazy. We are watching Netflix, eating and drinking loads and very slowly cleaning, mending and sorting out our kit. We have also been out and explored the city, and I went for one run which rendered me unable to walk for two days. It’s been a lovely break but I’m itching to get back on the bike.
Few more days of this then it’s all going to change. We have loved Central Asia and are excited to see what Vietnam will bring. So far all the change has been gradual, so it will be weird to suddenly be in such a different part of the world.
Jim’s words – Kazakhstan, Crows, Almaty, Fruitless, Box, Cleaning and Pizza.